Startup aims to tackle illegal fishing with an application programming interface that can pinpoint suspect boats.
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It is estimated that annual global losses from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing may be as high as 24 billion USD every year; with as many as 2.5 million fishing vessels engaged in illegal fishing – accounting for between ten and 20 percent of total global fish production. This type of unregulated fishing depletes fish stocks, destroys marine habitats, puts honest fishers at an unfair disadvantage, and can impoverish coastal communities in developing countries. It is very difficult to tackle this type of illegal fishing, due to limited resources for enforcing regulations and the large area and numbers of boats involved. Although there are satellite monitoring systems available, it is not possible to identify with precision if a particular vessel has carried out fishing activity at sea.
Now, a Peruvian startup called Zishing is trying to do something about this situation. Started by three young entrepreneurs, Zishing is developing an application programming interface (API), which can be integrated into national and international fisheries monitoring platforms to give supervising agencies more detail about who is fishing in their waters. The platform combines satellite monitoring with historical data of marine routes, open data of fish currents and life cycles, as well as natural phenomena, to accurately calculate which vessels have been fishing without permission or in prohibited areas.
Although still in early development stage, Zishing hopes that their work will provide support for the proper care and conservation of marine species, and lead to greater innovation in fisheries regulation and management. Fisheries conservation is a growing concern, as we have seen with innovations such as biodegradable nets that reduce pollution and floating fish farms, what other ways might technology provide solutions for fisheries conservation?